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I love movies. I also love Muay Thai fighting.

Ever watch a movie and think, well, that character really should train in the art of Muay Thai and stand up for themselves? Here are three movie characters that should really look into taking up the martial arts style.

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George McFly in Back to the Future
Poor George McFly was a walking stereotype of what made a nerd in the 50s. Meek and clumsy, he was constantly tormented and beat up by Biff and his gang of lackeys. The torment got so bad, that in one possible future timeline he was killed by Biff. If McFly was able to train in the art of Muay Thai, maybe he would have been able to defend himself a little better and he could have put Biff into his place without the help of his teenage sun from the future.

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Kim Mills in Taken
Yeah, her father Bryan Mills is an ex-CIA operative would can single handedly throat chop an army into submission, but he isn’t always around. It would have benefited her greatly if she had trained Muay Thai in Thailand with her father before heading to Paris with her friend. That way, when they were attacked in their vacation home Kim could have put her father on hold, kicked some butt, then picked up the phone to thank her father for their training sessions.
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Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe in Revenge of the Nerds
Sure, if Lewis Skolnick and Gilbert Lowe had known full contact Muay Thai fighting, then we wouldn’t have one of the funniest comedy series of the 80s. Instead of being constantly harassed by the Alpha Betas, the nerds could have fought back, literally, or better yet with their training they would have easily been able to best the jocks in the Greek Games.

There are a lot more movie characters that would benefit from Suwit Muay Thai training! Who do you think should be added to the list?

Despite the meteoric rise of video games, board games are still going strong, as increased sales prove. Families have the opportunity to enjoy both video games and board games together, taking the advantages of each and widening the options for family game night.

The Entertainment Software Association found that 59 percent of parents surveyed felt that video games produced a cohesive family environment, and 71 percent of parents believed that video games could provide mental stimulation. While these numbers are definitely encouraging to any young gamer who wants to spend more time on the console, they may also signal a cultural shift in the way game night happens.

Advantages of playing board games

Historically, board games brought people together. Board games are far from dead, indicated by their climbing sales every year for the last decade. They offer distinct advantages over video games that serious gamers can appreciate. Board games are much more in line with the game developer’s idea of the game than video games, which rely on programmers to translate the game developer’s idea into a digital format. The lengthy video game development process creates more room for duds, which can make it challenging for a gamer to select a new, quality game. Quintin Smith of Kotaku recommends several board games that video gamers would enjoy, including Catacombs, The Resistance, Fury of Dracula, Descent: The Road to Legend, Cyclades and Risk Legacy.

Board games are also much cheaper than video games, which have a higher retail cost and offer expansion packs and extras for additional fees.

While many video games have a narrative sequence that is the same every time, board games have scenarios that differ each time you play. There are exceptions here, as video games have adopted the idea of in-game consequences where what you do or how you act has game-changing consequences. An example of this type of game is the Battlefield series, a shooter game with a dynamic environment.

Advantages of video games

Video games have their own advantages for adults as well as for children. They can improve early literacy skills, help folks learn to delegate responsibility, participate on a team, improve hand-eye coordination and get better at multitasking — all skills that translate directly to the workplace. Wii or Kinect games offer physical benefits for gamers and can be a fun way for the whole family to be active together. While your family cannot play a board game across state lines, members can collaborate on a video game using online gaming platforms.

When parents take the time to play video games with their children, Arizona State University researcher Elizabeth Hayes notes, they can insert teaching moments into the fun time and may be better able to maintain open lines of communication with tweens and teens, who may be trying to assert independence. While first person shooter games have earned a negative reputation, there are lots of fun and family-friendly games on the market for families to play.

This guest post was written by Grant Weaver, a writer from Detroit.

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 by | Leave a Comment
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Joe Pesci

There have been plenty of movies that show different aspects of the world of casinos, but perhaps none so vividly as the movie Casino, released in 1995 and starring Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci and Sharon Stone. When you’ve watched this, you’ll probably be glad you can sit at home and play casino games rather than having to go to Vegas to do it!

Playing casino games online has become a daily occurrence for millions of people around the world – many of whom might never actually have gone to a land-based casino. It’s so easy to play online, you don’t need to get dressed up, you don’t need to leave the house and plan a journey. All you do is login to your favorite site and you can be playing almost instantly. You can play roulette online with 32Red here – all you need to do to get started is sign up and register a debit or credit card, and you’ll qualify for the no deposit bonus of $32 to play on any of the games on the site for a seven day period. It’s a great way to test out the site with real money games without any financial risk.

Casino is a movie that mixes the glamorous front of the casino lifestyle along with its very sleazy underside. Directed by Martin Scorsese, this epic runs for 178 minutes (many of them make you feel uncomfortable and like you’ll need a shower after you’ve watched this seedy tale). The story is based on the life story of Frank Rosenthal, who ran three casinos in Vegas for the Chicago Outfit through the 1970s and early 80s. Rosenthal’s character is Sam ‘Ace’ Rothstein in the film (played by de Niro) and the other main characters are Nicky Santoro (played by Joe Pesci) and Ace’s girlfriend Ginger (played by Sharon Stone). Nicky Santoro character is modelled on the real-life mob enforcer Anthony Spilotro.

Ace is running the fictional Tangiers casino on behalf of the Chicago mobsters, and Santoro is sent to make sure that all the casino profits go back to the mob without anything being skimmed off first. It’s also his job to keep the Vegas mobsters in their place. Ginger is a former prostitute and drug-addict who Ace falls for and eventually marries.

It’s a class act by all three actors and director Scorsese with a heady mix of gritty realism and glamor. The film is so long that you begin to feel you’re actually there with all the main characters trapped in the same existence as them, and it’s with a sense of relief that you greet the credits at the end of the movie! Although it’s a long watch, there are plenty of lighter moments in the film, so don’t be put off by the length of the movie. This was Scorsese and De Niro’s eighth collaboration and proved yet again what a successful movie making team they make.

Posted on September 23rd, 2013 by | Leave a Comment
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With Orange is the New Black, Weeds creator Jenji Kohan has a stunning, hilarious new hit that offers life lessons straight from a minimum-security prison. The series is only available on Netflix, available with Hughesnet.com satellite Internet or other high-speed connection. Orange — or OITNB as fans call it — follows the prison life of Piper Chapman, a Seven-Sisters educated white girl who carried drug money and got caught before the statute of limitations ran out. Prison puts Piper in contact with her ex Alex, who got her into the drug trade, and a range of characters, from a transgendered hairdresser to a born-again faith healer. Among the top truths of OITNB are these nine life lessons.

1. Make peace with your past.
When Piper learns Alex is in the same prison, she is enraged. However, Piper must learn to make peace with her past, forgive Alex and accept her crime and subsequent punishment. No matter what your past, you must come to peace with it before you can move forward.

2. Think before you speak.
When Piper voices her views on prison food, she offends the head chef, gets herself dissed in the food line by the chef’s friends and must go to great lengths to make it up to the chef. Piper learns fast to think before she speaks to avoid making enemies.

3. Lean on your friends to get through hard times.
Friends are a must for prison life, just as in real life. All the women of “Orange” lean on friends to get through hard times portrayed on the show.

4. Be resourceful.
Afraid of getting disease from prison showers, Piper rigs her own flip flops. Sophia teaches her to make duct tape shower shoes until her commissary money comes in. Throughout the show, the prisoners show resourcefulness that will translate directly to out-of-prison success.

5. Practice tolerance.
Born again Tiffany Doggett’s anti-gay stance pits Piper and her ex Alex against the prison’s Christian coalition. Pranks escalate as Tiffany locks Alex in a washing machine, and Alex and Piper conspire to send Tiffany to the prison’s psych ward. Instead of seeking revenge on your enemies, Orange suggests that you practice tolerance.

6. Be who you are.
By showcasing transgender, bisexual and lesbian characters — not whitewashing or feminizing these female characters a la Pretty Little Liars and referencing the Kinsey scale — the series tells its viewers that they can and should be who they are. Sophia’s past shows that she was willing to commit a crime to become female but must learn to let others be who they want to be.

7. Hope will get you through.
Even in prison, there are little things to look forward to. Taystee knows all of them. Remember to have gratitude and hope when you can, even if all you can look forward to is taco night.

8. Every action has consequences.
In “Orange,” every action, even one as minor as two prisoners dancing together, has big repercussions. Think before you act.

9. Life presents unexpected learning opportunities.
Piper’s prison assignment in an electrical shop seems like a mistake, until she turns it around and accepts the challenge of learning a new skill. Through life, you will always learn new skills.

The first season of Orange is the New Black is currently airing on Netflix, with the second season currently filming with an anticipated release next year.

This guest post was written by Eric Stinson. Eric is a writer and artist who covers entertainment, movies and books.

Posted on September 9th, 2013 by | Leave a Comment
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Coming out in theaters on September 6th is The Ultimate Life, the sequel to the inspiring movie The Ultimate Gift. In the movie, Jason Stevens (Logan Bartholomew) is stuck with the pressures of running his late Grandfather’s foundation, being sued by his greedy extended family, and having his beloved Alexia (Ali Hillis) leave for a long mission in Haiti. As his world unravels, Jason discovers his Grandfather’s journal which was written during the depression. The writings inspire Jason, and put him on an incredible rags-to-riches ride with everything that he hold dear in the balance. The movie also stars Peter Fonda, Bill Cobbs, Drew Waters, Austin James, David Mann, Lee Meriwether, and Elizabeth Bennet.

The movie comes out in theaters on Friday, and we’re giving you a chance at getting ready for it! We are giving one reader a The Ultimate Life Prize Pack! Included in the pack is a DVD of The Ultimate Gift, The Ultimate Gift book by Jim Stovall, The Ultimate Gift charm bracelet, and The Ultimate Life leather-bound journal. Check out the banner below for an image of the swag!

How do you enter the contest? There are 3 different ways (each gives you another entry for as many as three entries into the contest)!

  1. Check out The Ultimate Life Blog App below and take the quiz to find out if YOU are Living Life to the Fullest. Then leave us a comment on this contest with your results!
  2. Leave a comment and let us know how excited you are for the sequel to The Ultimate Gift!
  3. Tweet about the contest and use the hashtags #TheUltimateLife #Contest #MHD along with this link.

One lucky winner will be chosen at random!

Disclaimer (and other Details)
This contest is only open to everyone with a valid address. Prizes can not be sent to a PO Box. All comments must be made with a (working) email address, so we are able to contact you if you win. Once contacted, you have 24 hours to reply with the requested details. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the entries. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parents permission. Prizes have been provided in promotion of The Ultimate Life. A winner will be chosen on September 8th, 2013.

Online GamesOnline gaming can be a great way to relax and interact with other players. Playing online has much more of a social element and knowing that you’re playing against real people can increase the excitement and competitiveness of the game. You can even play on your phone or tablet when you’re on the go or feeling bored.  I have been computing and luckily have access to wifi on my whole commute. This lets me sit back and enjoy some online gaming before the very busy workday begins.

One type of online game which has been growing in popularity at the moment is bingo. Yeah, it is a world away from the action or strategy games you might be used to but there’s the added bonus that you can actually win real prizes. Bingo has been around in many different forms for a very long time, but the growing appeal of online bingo can be attributed to the fact that it’s so easy to play. There’s no complicated strategy and you don’t have to think too much- you can just relax and enjoy the game. How many other games can say that?

Of course, the buzz that many people get from playing online games such as bingo is the thrill of a potential win. My sister plays bingo here but there are many sites to choose from. It’s best to do research and find the best one that suits your particular needs. Have a look and see what bonuses the various sites are offering for joining and the level of prizes you can win.  Many sites have a chat room so you can talk to other players and join a community of other players. What is the most important thing you look for when choosing an online game? Speed? Variety? Or do you like to keep it fresh and always choose a new type of game?

Just like other styles of online games and gaming, bingo has a ton of different (and some really different) varieties of games to suit your particular gaming style. There are bright and bubbly fun games with pure entertainment value, and there are more serious games for that no nonsense type of player. And of course there is everything inbetween. What is your particular gaming style? Leave a comment and let us know!

There’s nothing better than scooping a great cash prize for simply taking a few minutes to play bingo and have some fun. Many sites don’t cost much to play so even if you don’t manage to achieve a win, then it is not the end of the world, although if you do, you’ll probably be hooked! If it’s a game you’ve never tried before, give it a go. Never know, you might have fun.

Have you ever played bingo online or live and in person at a hall or event? What were your experiences like? Leave a comment and lets chat about it! Even better, have you played online and in person? How did the two styles compare? What did you prefer? Would you play again?


Big thanks to Carey for the guest post! If you have an article you’d like to send us for inclusion on My Hollywood Dream, click the above link for “Contact” and send it over! We love reading articles from our readers!

 

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by | Leave a Comment (1)
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Go On... on NBC

Many people view bingo as a very traditional game which is generally played by the older generation (or Matthew Perry on Go On – above). However, bingo has being growing in popularity particularly among people playing bingo online.

The game of bingo has actually been going for around 500 years, with bingo halls springing up during the 1960s. Nowadays bingo has taken on a new form online which allows people to socialise and play at any time. Some people just play for fun whereas others play to win cash jackpots. It really depends on the sort of gamer you are.

Online bingo may not be a game you have ever considered playing before, but if you’re looking for a game which requires little effort and simply allows you to relax while potentially winning cash prizes, then it could be for you. The basics of bingo stay the same but you don’t have to focus on listening out for the number calls as the software will mark your numbers off for you, meaning you don’t miss out on a win. The whole process of playing bingo has been modernised for the online gamer making it much more accessible.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just women who play online bingo but also a growing number of men who are giving it a go (also like Matthew Perry on Go On – above). Trends show that there is an increasingly number of men playing bingo particularly within European countries, such as Spain, where it is considered a more masculine pursuit.

Strategy and combat games can be a great form of stress release for the average gamer, but when you want something which requires a little less concentration, bingo can be a good option. Of course, the only way to know for sure is to give it a try yourself. You never know, you might end up hitting the jackpot.


A big thanks to Emma for this guest post. If you have a guest post you’d like us to consider posting, please send it to us via the contact link above.

Posted on August 16th, 2013 by | Leave a Comment
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